Lewis underwood’s as media evaluation

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Lewis Underwood AS media evaluation

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Lewis underwood’s as media evaluation

  1. 1. Lewis Underwood’s as Media Evaluation<br />Thriller Opening: Marked<br />
  2. 2. 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <br />Our media product has changed vastly since we created our animatic and even since our early filming and editing stages. This is mainly because whilst on location we felt changes needed to be implemented to incorporate the thriller genre as much as possible whilst still maintaining a steady narrative. In essence our early idea/animatic was just a montage of very short scenes; although we attempted to incorporate symbolic props/situations from the thriller genre we decided to change to build a stronger narrative in the opening. In comparison to other thrillers such as Sin City I feel that we succeeded in presenting a short essence of the film to come; however Sin City had a very powerful use of colour during the opening. The use of red on black and white was very effective and symbolic – whereas our thriller opening didn’t have much distinctness about itself, or an obvious filming/editing style. This is something I wish to strive for in future projects, a definitive style which can add to a films depth and also gives the audience something new and interesting to watch.One aspect of cinematography in which I feel we accomplished well was a variety of different shot angles and types. The second shot is an example of what I feel is good about our product, the low angle shot with the actress entering the scene – her heels first. We graphic match this later with the final shot – a low angle with the dirty discarded shoe in the foreground and the police searching in the background. <br />I don’t feel that our use of thriller conventions shows a distinct reflection of other thriller films – my influences where at the time based around the film Taxi Driver which I had recently watched. I enjoyed that film because it had a very strong narrative, as the audience I felt very gripped with the main characters journey and lifestyle.<br />I do feel as if I didn’t incorporate enough of what I had learnt and seen about the thriller genre. I think next time I will spend more time when deciding ideas and actually apply as much as possible to give the best outcome. I feel as if I went along with just putting together our plot we had created; and less about creating some interesting and engaging media product. <br />
  3. 3. 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />In our thriller opening we decided to represent mainly one social group, teenagers. We decided to only have one main character introduced during the first two minutes but we managed to portray a party scene left by teenagers. We used empty vodka bottles and such to create a dirty run down party field; we wanted to create something similar to the Skins ideology of teenagers therefore we included prop drugs in the opening. Our actress is a girl white middle class; we chose her so as to relate to our target audience. We don’t overly play on stereotypes very much as we have only one main character and she is shown to be slightly disorientated during the opening. The police officer was a white male, perhaps a typical role as it could be seen as a power related position. We did have an all white cast, not discriminating but we didn’t see it necessary to include other ethnic groups.<br />Young white female, lead actress which may be seen as subverting typical thriller lead roles in which a male is usually the case.<br />We decided there was no need to subvert the typical representation of a white male police officer as the films message is not directly about women’s strength in society, in that case we might have used a female actor for this part.<br />
  4. 4. 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />Our media text would most likely be produced by a small British film company, this is mainly due to the target audience we would try to address and the general look of our opening. It could possibly be a TV movie because I doubt the plot would sustain long enough for a cinema to screen it. The movie doesn’t offer much franchising opportunities because it would most likely have to tie up the plot before the end of the movie; a heavy plot twist maybe required if it were to offer merchandising opportunities. The visual style of our thriller starts pretty slow, we use a lot of pans and fades to keep the pace slow, perhaps this would enable multiple episodes in the thriller if the plot was to unravel over a series. We included a police officer in our opening which, if the plot were to be extended could allow a crime thriller sub genre into television film – which as I have noticed tends to be popular whether it’s on the good or bad side of the law.<br />I've noticed ITV tend to produce a lot of crime/thriller based programmes for broadcast, currently producing a new show called Murderland. A crime thriller starring Robbie Coltrane. <br />English films tend to be recognisable from the colour tones of grey. The film Three and Out is a good example as it can be seen that the colours between our shot and the film are quite similar. <br />
  5. 5. 4. Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />Our target audience is 16+ British teenagers; the thriller doesn’t bias towards one particular gender however the main character is a female which may engage girls more than boys watching the film. The opening is slightly unclear however we attempted to make it deal with some of the themes and situations young people may be dealing with at the current time. A teenage girl gets mixed up with some of the wrong people and gets into trouble with the law and others etc whilst searching for her missing friend. Therefore we hope to target young teenagers; I feel that the BBFC would certificate this as an 18 rated film due to the usage of alcohol and drugs, furthermore explicit language and scenes may occur later in the film. <br />
  6. 6. Question 5 – How did you attract/address your audience?<br />We tried to attract a teenager based audience; we did this because we are teenagers and it would be hard to appeal to an audience we didn’t fully understand. In our second scene inside the house, the protagonist is rinsing a cup out of anxiety as she has nothing to occupy herself. This is a mild stereotype we attempted to engage with female viewers – to engage the male viewers an attractive female was used therefore provoking interest in her situation. We began to experiment with some point of view shots but at first we had trouble recreating a realistic effect. So instead I limited the use of the POV shots and instead we filmed the protagonist from close to mid shots throughout her sequence. The use of the “flashback” on the party scene helps to put the audience into the characters position and her thoughts are heard by the audience through on screen diagetic muttering, also an attempt to add to the grogginess felt by the main character. We tried to provoke an emotional response or an audience interest with the final shot of the trainers left over by the abducted child and the police in the background. The aim of this was to create suspense for the audience as they wonder what happened to the teenager.<br />In hindsight more extensive research would of helped me to specifically target aspects of the thriller genre which appeal most to our target audience.<br />
  7. 7. Question 6 – What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?<br />When we first began filming I had some problems getting a good steady tracking shot. We were using a chair which we had the tripod placed on, which resulted in some unsteady bumps which ruined shots. It simply took practice and strength to maintain a steady level, rotations and speed. This project was my first time working with Adobe Premiere Pro, the editing program which was a fun experience as I learnt how to experiment with video effects and editing. I had used the adobe programme After Effects which is similar in layout so I had some background knowledge. Seeing as I had done the majority of the editing I feel quite confident with the program now. However it took a few tries to get the share of fades and cross editing just right because at first I practically had a fade after every shot, which resulted in a slow pace and obvious overuse of fading. I also managed to lighten up a shot which was at first to dark to use, which is really convenient as we would have had trouble reshooting the scene. (Actress on holiday.) <br />Adobe After Effects offers a variety of tools to use to enhance your projects, these two images show me adjusting the lighting of a shot.<br />The Gaussian blur tool let me adjust the fading of an image or text over time. This can be seen in the three images to the left.<br />
  8. 8. Question 6 – Continued…<br />We sometimes recorded sound separately for some things as on the quality first recorded was not good enough. I used Adobe Sound booth to cut and edit this sound which I then imported into the project. <br />To bring the sound down gradually I used a gradient which keeps the pitch and tone of the sound parallel whilst reducing the level of it.<br />
  9. 9. Question 7 – Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?<br />As a group we sat down and discussed idea with each other, we spent a few hours throwing out ideas between ourselves and we came up with a plot, in hindsight I would probably say it was very cliché and obvious however at the time I felt it was good. See post "Initial Ideas and Final Idea.” As we progressed further into the process of making the project we already had made changes to our plot, sequence and shots after the feedback from our animatic. We spent some time looking at other filmmakers of the thriller genre and watched the creation of M. Night. Shyamalan’s 6th Sense. Shyamalan emphasized the importance of the storyboarding process, he spent alot of time and dedication to map out how he wanted to film to roll out; his visual imagination allowed him to spare time and money on set so he could film specifically what he wanted. Furthermore I began to feel that some shots such as over the shoulder and POV are conventional to Thrillers. Taking this into consideration whilst filming we began to see how other ideas and techniques may look and feel better so this led to our plot and shot types changing considerably. I felt that we had moved on from a montage of random clips that the audience may find hard to link to something with a stronger plot which would hopefully began to draw the audience into the following film. See post “Change” for further details. <br />
  10. 10. Question 7 – Continued…<br />Our specific shot types could have been improved upon as we didn’t include enough shots iconic to thrillers therefore potentially losing out on some of the bonus aspects provided by those shots. An example is we didn’t include the over the shoulder shot which would have been effective in portraying the feeling of being followed which we could have included in a flashback sequence. That said I feel that we did well in using our equipment, I feel confident in attempting any shot type; perhaps next time I will approach the project to provide a wider variety of shots to keep the audience interested in that aspect of the film. In regards to our use of pans I think that we maintained a good quality rotation and speed. Our use of framing in our shots was moderate; I tried to make sure that the characters were not badly filmed half out of frame but I did not spend any specific time on thinking about the effect of framing. We kept our music very simple and pretty iconic to the thriller genre; and in that sense we played it safe by just using some typical eerie music. Therefore I feel that we did not experiment enough with different music styles. In some ways this is odd as in our animatic we chose to use a slightly sad/happy Hawaiian music which created an odd uncomfortable tone as the audience would watch on screen a child being kidnapped. This seemed to just fade away as we came to making our final product. <br />I feel that overall the main project went ok but I have a lot more experience now that I feel I could implement that would improve our thriller. I don’t feel happy with the end product but I can imagine few filmmakers are; in regards to our storyboarding I don’t think we planned out our story well enough so when it came down to filming we had some time milling around doing nothing but deciding what to shoot and even making up new story. If I compare my work to something like Sin City I can see that the quality of the opening is derived from one simple location, a slick and definitive filming style whereas I feel that we have tried to fit in a whole story into the opening of a film.<br />

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